429: Fantasy

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I guess if she accepted irrational realities, she'd hardly be my fantasy.
Title text: I guess if she accepted irrational realities, she'd hardly be my fantasy.


Cueball is fantasizing about being together with Megan, a girl he really wishes to be with, but he has so far not found any way to make this happen. However, in his fantasy, the imaginary versions of himself and Megan quickly realize how impossible their relationship would be. First of all, neither of them can remember why they are together (a typical trait of dreams, that you are suddenly in some situation but cannot remember what went before). Also, Megan seems to find it very difficult to imagine them being together. Although the reasons are left unstated, it is clear that it is actually Cueball who cannot himself imagine a situation that would make it possible for them to be together, and he projects this into the thoughts of his fantasy version of Megan. He himself mentions the word fantasy, which makes her realize that they are objects in a fantasy (or dream) that will soon end, and then so will they.

Then she decides to destroy the fantasy world they are in instead of going quietly, as she would have once this fantasy ended. She goes for burning it to the ground, and the fantasy Cueball is with her, since he has also realized that he will lose her when this fantasy ends. Rather than allow Cueball's idle daydream to end romantically, they run rampant and bring his fantasy crashing to a halt.

This leaves the real Cueball confused. But in the title text, Cueball realizes that he would only appreciate a girl who refused such an irrational reality, thus the fantasy is consistent with both of their personalities.

Another "thought bubble comic" can be seen in 248: Hypotheticals.


[Cueball sits hugging his knees. From his head, there go three bubbles to a thought bubble.]
Cueball: If only there were some way we could be together.
[The comic fades into a thought bubble in shaded gray color. The bubble contains the next four panels.]
[Cueball and Megan are lounging on a bed. He seems to be massaging her neck while she is lying down.]
Megan: We're so lucky to have each other. How did it happen, anyway?
Cueball: I, uh... I don't remember.
[Zoom in on Megan sitting up with her hands behind her. The bed is not drawn.]
Megan: No, really, how did we get together? It's hard to imagine it happening.
Cueball (off-screen): It does strain the bounds of fantasy...
Megan: ...Fantasy? That's it!
[Megan now stands up at the foot of the bed. Cueball sits with one hand around his knee and the other to his chin.]
Megan: My God, it's the only explan-ation: We're objects in some transient fantasy. We'll be gone when it ends!
Cueball: We'll lose each other.
Megan: Oh God.
[Megan leaps from the bed with a flaming torch. Cueball jumps after her on his knees with his hands in the air.]
Megan: Well, I'm not going out quietly. I'm burning this fucking world.
Cueball: Burn the world!
Megan: Fire! Fire! Cleanse this hellish place—
[The thought ends with three bubbles going down to Cueball, who is now standing and scratching his head. Again, the comic is back to the normal black drawing style.]
Cueball: ??

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I think the "impossible" part is not their relationship, but the fact they don't remember how it happened. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:52, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Any particular impossibility is not explained, but I believe it is implied in Cueball's first sentence "If only there were some way we could..." implying that there is no way that they could. Brettpeirce (talk) 13:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

It seems like an important distinction that in the comic Megan wonders how but the description says she wonders why. The comic doesn't actually give us a reason why they cannot be together- it could be ling distance just as easily as unrequited love. Bbruzzo (talk) 18:23, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Ive always thought this comic bears some similarities to Jorges Luis Borges' short story, The Circular Ruins